Prioritising the Role of Community Health Workers in the COVID-19 Response

COVID-19 disproportionately affects the poor and vulnerable. Community health workers are poised to play a pivotal role in fighting the pandemic, especially in countries with less resilient health systems.

Drawing from practitioner expertise across four WHO regions, this article outlines the targeted actions needed at different stages of the pandemic to achieve the following goals:

  1. PROTECT healthcare workers
  2. INTERRUPT the virus
  3. MAINTAIN existing healthcare services while surging their capacity
  4. SHIELD the most vulnerable from socioeconomic shocks.

While decisive action must be taken now to blunt the impact of the pandemic in countries likely to be hit the hardest, many of the investments in the supply chain, compensation, dedicated supervision, continuous training and performance management necessary for rapid community response in a pandemic are the same as those required to achieve universal healthcare and prevent the next epidemic.

Source: Prioritising the Role of Community Health Workers in the COVID-19 Response

    British Medical Journal COVID-19 Hub

    British Medical Journal’s (BMJ) COVID-19 hub supports health professionals and researchers with practical guidance, online CPD courses, as well as the latest news, comment, and research from BMJ. The content is free and updated daily.

    Source: British Medical Journal COVID-19 Hub

      YouTube as a Source of Information on COVID-19: A Pandemic of Misinformation?

      The COVID-19 pandemic is this century’s largest public health emergency and its successful management relies on the effective dissemination of factual information. As a social media platform with billions of daily views,

      YouTube has tremendous potential to both support and hinder public health efforts. However, the usefulness and accuracy of most viewed YouTube videos on COVID-19 have not been investigated.  A YouTube search was performed on 21 March 2020 using keywords ‘coronavirus’ and ‘COVID-19’, and the top 75 viewed videos from each search were analysed.

      The result was that over one-quarter of the most viewed YouTube videos on COVID-19 contained misleading information, reaching millions of viewers worldwide. As the current COVID-19 pandemic worsens, public health agencies must better use YouTube to deliver timely and accurate information and to minimise the spread of misinformation. This may play a significant role in successfully managing the COVID-19 pandemic.

      Source: YouTube as a Source of Information on COVID-19: A Pandemic of Misinformation?

        Prevent, Detect, Respond: How Community Health Workers can Help in the Fight against COVID-19

        In previous epidemics, rapidly expanding healthcare teams through community health workers (CHWs) has proven to be fundamental to an effective response. During recent Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemics in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and west Africa, nations like Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria, and the DRC rapidly hired, trained, and equipped thousands of CHWs from communities affected by or at risk of Ebola.

        Source: Prevent, Detect, Respond: How Community Health Workers Can Help in the Fight against COVID-19